Course Overview


The Godolphin International Thoroughbred Leadership Programme is a two year full-time management training programme. It combines a dynamic range of lectures, visits and hands-on experience. There is continual assessment throughout the course which includes appraisals and a challenging series of projects, assignments and examinations on the theoretical and practical material covered. Individual externships are organised for trainees throughout the course. There is a significant element of self-study of prescribed course materials. The Godolphin International Thoroughbred Leadership Programme has developed links with established universities and training providers worldwide who deliver and certify business and equine modules. Trainees who reach the standard required will be awarded the Godolphin Flying Start Diploma on completion of the course.

Thoroughbred Production and Management

Practical horse handling takes place in Ireland, England, Kentucky, Australia and Dubai. Trainees are involved in the running of thoroughbred breeding and racing operations at each location. This includes daily care of mares, foals and racehorses along with some exposure to the administration and management aspects involved. There are skills assessments in the areas of horse care and handling, veterinary and farriery. An Equine Anatomy and Physiology module is completed at the University College Dublin and Equine Nutrition at the University of Kentucky.

Business Management

Management modules are delivered in blocks throughout the programme culminating in an enterprise and business planning skills module. Trainees develop a broad range of management skills, including marketing, finance, HR and Technology and produce their own business plan as a final assignment. An Entrepreneurship module is completed at the University College Dublin Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School.

Bloodstock, Breeding and Racing

Lectures and visits are scheduled to take place in each country. Lectures are delivered by Godolphin personnel, professional training providers and by industry leaders in the relevant topics. Visits include studs, training yards, auction houses, racecourses, veterinary hospitals and research facilities. Key personnel at these locations give a behind-the-scenes insight into the inner workings of their operations. Sales and racing attended include the Goffs Yearling Sale, Tattersalls Breeding Stock Sale, Magic Millions Yearling Sale, Irish Champion Stakes, Kentucky Derby and Melbourne Cup.

Leadership and Communications

Individual coaching and mentoring are part of the Godolphin Flying Start experience. A blend of workshops and Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is used to develop personal awareness as a foundaton for leadership development. Trainees develop their public speaking skills at conferences held in Ireland, USA and Australia. Creativity, teamwork and communications are enhanced through workshops and individual mentoring. A Leadership module is completed at the Australian Graduate School of Management.


There is a total of 16 weeks spent on externships between the USA, Australia and Europe. These usually take place outside of the Godolphin organisation and trainees are placed individually giving a great opportunity to develop their personal and professional skills.


"Godolphin Flying Start has played a vital role both in my professional development and understanding of the global thoroughbred industry. The increasing globalisation of racing is inevitable and the course provides amazing opportunities to both see and understand the varying industries around the world."

George Broughton, 2022 Godolphin Flying Start graduate